Saturday, November 3, 2012

Happy Halloween

Only one day has passed that I didn't get to the hospital to see Tara. Halloween. Halloween was like something out of a horror movie. I was working on one of many home projects and noticed a red welt on my foot. Then there were two more and they were spreading. I thought this was another one of my allergic reactions to an as of yet undiagnosed substance, so lest I have to use my Epipen and call an ambulance and go the the hospital I quickly down enough benedryl to take down a small elephant and then swallow some steroids. Vivek is fast asleep in the swing he absolutely loves in the living room, and I wander into the kitchen to sit down. I notice some flies near the ceiling fixture and am annoyed, and decide to by some fly strips tomorrow.

Then I realized they are not flies.

They are wasps. 6 of them. Yellowjackets. I never felt any stings on my feet, but Occam's razor tells me that is probably the reason for the welts 10 minutes previous. I fortunately had some wasp/hornet spray in the garage that I don't remember buying but am infinitely grateful I had. I begin spraying the bastards one by one and they instantly drop dead to the floor. Good stuff. Unfortunately this also means I am spraying poison over every sterilized surface that I prepare my babies formula and bottles on. I later had to spend hours scrubbing the entire kitchen from top to bottom and re-sterilize every bottle and nipple and object in the kitchen.

I realize two things. They are coming in from somewhere and I have to stop them. I also have to get my son out of here so he doesn't get stung when I run out of spray, or exposed to the poison I am spraying, or to the poison the exterminator will use once I find one in a jiffy.

I worry they are coming from my attic or an air duct, but then I open up my kitchen window curtains to look in the backyard. There are hundreds upon hundreds of them swarming all over my backyard and porch. They are coming in through the dog door and a spot where I need to replace the weather stripping on the French doors. I tape off the door seams and close off the dog door, and then kill the 6 more wasps that have gotten inside.

I Google my city and the word "exterminator" and call Abbott Exterminators because they start with the letter "A" and came up first. Very luckily they seem to grasp the urgency in my voice and have a guy that can come right away and lives close. He is a little condescending on the phone telling me to stay calm and they won't attack me, but he doesn't seem to understand that I have to kill the ones in my house and can't let them fly free because of my son. I'm sure he also told me to calm down because the string of obscenities coming out of my mouth while I killed the buggers would make a sailor blush.

I call my Mom who quickly grasps the urgency of the situation and races over barefooted in 5 minutes. We run out to the car and I throw in a hastily prepared bag of necessities, then stick his car seat in her front seat without a base and tell her to drive the two blocks to her house very carefully. I find out later she had to call a neighbor to help her figure out how to unbuckle the seat to get him out!

It turns out we had 4 nests up in our backyard tree and one on the side of the house. In 8 years of living here we have never had a wasp problem, but this summer they decided our house was Las Vegas. A bird or something must have stirred them up and made them swarm during the evening forage. The exterminator had some backpack that looked like it belonged in Ghostbusters with a snowblower nozzle, and he sprayed and fogged my entire backyard and all the trees and bushes and the side of the house. He said the poison is strong enough that if they even land on any surface or return to a nest then they will die instantly. I also noted he did all of this without a mask on. That can't be healthy.

On the bright side, finding a regular exterminator was on my list of to do's so he told me he would handle the wasps for free if I signed up for a quarterly service. I told him it might be the truckload of benedryl talking but it sounded like a great deal to me, so I signed something I didn't even read. Fortunately my mother volunteered to take Vivek for the entire evening so I could slip into unconsciousness. On the bright side of that it primed me to stay up all night and switch my body over to night shift.

So for the next two days as an extra safety measure we kept the dog door shut off to make sure they horde died off and to keep our dog safe from any residual chemicals. We have a seriously dumb dog. When we take him on the leash out front to go to the bathroom, he gets all excited and tries to bound off on a walk but won't go to the bathroom. Vinnie finally gave up and walked him into the backyard just past the gate and he finally pooed and peed what he had been holding in during his front yard excursion.

I did manage to purchase some cute Halloween outfits and pumpkins the day before for some photo ops, though I could not find anything truly sized for a newborn after searching 3 superstores and was stuck with cutsie oversized theme outfits and not proper costumes. Maybe next year. I really really reallly wanted to take them to a pumpkin patch for their first Halloween for some cute photos, but I just couldn't risk exposing them and for Tara it was not meant to be. Maybe next year. However I devised my own plan for some cute Halloween photos with a hastily carved pumpkin and a little bit of patience.

I haven't allowed myself to feel sorry for myself for more than a few minutes that things aren't the way I want them to be right now. But when I missed seeing Tara and taking her Halloween photo because of the whole wasp/benedryl fiasco I was truly upset. Fortunately a wonderful nurse at the NICU the next day promised me that if I left my camera she would put her in the outfit and place the tiny pumpkins around her and grab some photos for me when she was in a less agitated state, because when I saw her she had just had a major bronchospasm and needed to rest and not be handled. Thank you nurse Danica and hairy armed guy holding in the pacifier!

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